The vision is to bring land ownership back under the control of the people and for us to become the stewards of nature that the planet needs us to be.
The very basic plan is to start regrowing trees as fast as we can so that we can start capturing CO2 but there is a lot more to it than that. We don't have long to act before the warming climate makes life for us impossible. We are a group of permaculture designers so we have the knowledge and experience required to do this. We will get our trees from seedlings and stocks of native species so that we can begin to recreate natural forest. It will be very different to the artificial, desert like areas of pine plantation so often seen in the countryside. Those plantations look like forest but they are a monoculture with the barest minimum of biodiversity. Diversity is a key element to a healthy and balanced environment. We can do way better than that.
The idea is that this will be a flagship project, we want other people and organisations to jump on board and do the same thing elsewhere. What we want to achieve initially is to buy 10 acres of land. The average cost for agricultural land is £10k per acre although we don't want to buy land at a premium cost. We need lots of acreage and if it is poor quality then we can improve it. 10 acres is a manageable starting place for us but we want to expand this idea and really get it growing as fast as we can. We believe it is possible to get a semi mature forest canopy within 15 years and while that is happening there will be plenty more to do.
This land would be held in trust for the people and used for social projects such as rewilding, community gardening, permaculture teaching, forest gardening, forest schooling, nature reconnection, mental health and wellbeing etc. There would be covenants put in place to restrict the use of chemicals and development.
We are asking for a lot of money but the project funds will only be used for buying the land. The other projects utilising the land will be self sustaining. We will make a lot of use of volunteers and anyone wishing to become involved in this project will be more than welcome.
The government and big business aren't listening to the science. We are going to have to pull together and save ourselves and we can do that by reconnecting to this incredible planet that we all live on.
When was the last time you saw flocks of birds feeding on insects behind a ploughing tractor?
When was the last time your car windscreen was covered in dead bugs after a short drive in the countryside?
When was the last time you ate a vegetable that actually tasted of anything or filled you up? This is tricky because if you have never experienced truly nourishing and wholesome food then you can't begin to imagine the difference between a mass produced supermarket carrot for example and one grown naturally in soil full of life.
My permaculture design course and subsequent research have led me to believe that we need to protect our soil first and foremost. Once the use of chemicals is stopped, the soil recovers, it's that simple. It will recover all by itself but we can help speed up the process.
Healthy soil does not need chemical fertiliser or pesticide in order to grow nutritious and abundant food.
Healthy soil allows a huge diversity of life to flourish.
Healthy soil allows rich plant, shrub and tree life to develop and most importantly capture CO2 and store it deep underground.
We have a huge amount of experience but no funding. We know we can begin to make things better but we need to buy lots of land in order to make big changes and we are running out of time.
After that, when we are successful, we will do it again and slowly but surely change our world for the better.
And then do it again.
We need nature, nature doesn't need us.